The Best Bed Frame: Box Spring Support or Platform Mattress Foundation?

You’re setting up your bedroom, and the bed itself is obviously the biggest and probably the most important choice here, not to mention that this is a long-term decision. Whatever you go with, it will most likely stay there for at least a decade.

Additionally, choosing a particular construction might limit your choice of mattresses. Your favorite mattress might not be a good fit for your preferred bed structure and vice versa. For example, latex, memory foam, and non-coil mattresses should only be used on either a foundation or a platform bed, because all of these demand a flat, firm surface.

As it is with mattresses, different choices are made for different purposes, as well as personal preferences. For example, platform beds are usually the ones that will have you sleeping closer to the floor, and this might be a problem for people who are allergic to dust.

On the other hand, box spring based beds are a lot higher, which allows you to avoid both the dust and the cold air that’s circulating at the bottom of your bedroom.

First of all, you need to familiarize yourself with each construction to be able to make the right choice. Let’s review each of these shortly for what they are and then we’ll move on.

What Is A Mattress Foundation?

Image of mattress Foundation

This type of bed construction is most commonly confused with a box spring because they tend to resemble each other very closely in design. However, their purposes are different.

The foundation will have a wood-based construction with slats on its sides, and the result is a solid, flat surface. On the other hand, a box spring will look almost the same, but its primary purpose is absorbing shock, and it is based on springs.

The main purpose of a bed foundation is support. If you’re going with a latex or a memory foam mattress, getting a foundation is your best bet because these types of mattresses require a firm, strong surface.

This kind of combination would work well because while you enjoy the comfort of a memory foam or latex mattress, you still get the extra support from a mattress foundation.

Box Spring: What is it?

Like we previously mentioned, the main purpose of a box spring is shock absorption. It accomplishes this with its metal springs, which correlate to the springs of your mattress, and therefore provide a more comfortable sleeping environment.

With this in mind, the obvious choice for a box spring is an innerspring mattress. Furthermore, box springs usually mean more height than a foundation, meaning that you’ll sleep well above the floor dust and the cold air which resides at the bottom of your bedroom.

Image of Bed Set - What's mattress, box & frame

Both the box and mattress springs will work together and absorb the stiffness. Additionally, a box spring construction allows you to increase or decrease the height of your mattress, a feature which a lot of people find quite useful.

Different people have different needs and habits, and while for some, this feature would be considered useless, others might find it very useful, the point is – this is more of a personal preference matter than one of quality.

If you decide to go with a box spring, you’ll probably be presented with few options. These include a semi-flex box spring, which comes with a firm metal grid for better mattress support.

The second most popular option is one based on coil springs. These also offer great support as well as flexibility – best used for firm mattresses.

That said, square coils with modular grids are probably your best bet because this type of high-quality box spring will make the most out of your mattress and extend its longevity. Modular grid-based box springs are best used with innerspring mattresses, especially double-sided ones.

Platform Bed Foundation: What is it?

image of a platform bed

A platform-based bed is the standard bed frame without box spring that comes with a vertical board on top, and one at the bottom, the top board usually being higher. This allows you to simply pick up your mattress and fit it into the construction.

Platforms beds are also usually close to the floor, meaning it’s something to take into consideration if you’ve got a specific bed height preference.

Remember, being closer to the floor means you’ll also be closer to the dust and colder air. A thing to keep in mind if you’re experiencing any kind of dust allergies, or simply want to sleep warmer. Are platform beds comfortable? The answer is really based on your preference.

Furthermore, a platform is usually considered the most hassle-free bed construction option. This is because non-platform constructions mandate you place either a box spring or a foundation on top of it before you can fit in your mattress.

In Conclusion: What’s the Best Choice for You?

It isn’t easy to summarize on which construction you should go with. This is because a significant chunk of the decision is based on your specific preferences. What’s more, the second biggest thing that’s going to influence your decision is the mattress you’re going with. To try and summarize to some extent, we’ll say this:

box spring with its coils works well with a mattress because it will let it contour to your specific body shape and weight almost perfectly. This means box springs cater to comfort the most.

Foundations, on the other hand, are usually a safer financial option, because they tend to be much cheaper. A foundation is also best if you’re looking for a more sound sleep. However, they won’t be a good fit for a lot of mattress types out there – including pillow top or memory foam mattresses.

And to finish it off, platforms that provide style, are usually cost effective, and offer exceptional support, making your mattress more durable meaning it will last longer.

All this makes platforms an excellent option. Also, platforms can suit a lot of mattress types and besides support, offer good stability and motion isolation.

Our opinion would be that your best bet is to go with a platform for your mattress.

You can check the list of our recommended memory foam mattress foundations and platforms here.

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